Sunday, April 4, 2021

Easter Sunday

EASTER PLANTS celebrate life and renewal. We give thanks for those who donated to help us decorate our sanctuary this morning with easter lilies and colorful spring plants.

Audrey Conant                        In Honor of Families

Kathleen Hones                        In Memory of Bonnie Brooks

In Honor of Front Line Covid-19 Healthcare Workers

The Retzlaff Family                        In Honor of Grandparents

Jeanne Williams & Bob Amsden         In Honor of Donald Amsden

The Dodson Family                        In Memory of David Dodson

Scott Henke                                In Memory of his Mom, Cordelia Davis

The Lyke Family                        In Memory of Murray McNair

In Memory of Doug and Audrey Lyke

The Wittler Family                        In Memory of George & Margaret Wittler

In Memory of Robert Wittler

In Memory of Nellie Baran

In Memory of Walter Baran

Jane Cotter                                In Memory of Howard & Esther Huibregtse

The Del Ponte Family

FELLOWSHIP HOSTS |                                                        Ter Beest Family

USHER |                                                                        Jane Cotter

PRELUDE |         That Easter Day With Joy Was Bright                arr. Dale Wood


* EASTER HYMN |         “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today”                        #233

Brass Ensemble: Kurt Dietrich, Paul Dietrich, Tim Lyke

WELCOME |                                                                        Rev. Jeffrey Dodson

EASTER PROCLAMATION |                                                        Rev. Jeffrey Dodson

One:        Christ is Risen!

All:        Christ is risen, indeed!

One:        Hope is Alive!

All:        Hope is alive, indeed!

One:        God’s love is eternal!

All:        Hallelujah!

        Let us give thanks for what God has done.

PRAYER |                                                                        Erin Ter Beest

God of grace and power,

we come rejoicing in Christ’s empty tomb.

We come trusting in the good news

that tells us Christ is with us.

For the Risen Christ is living proof

that You care about our lives, O God.

The Risen Christ offers to us glimpses of hope,

even in our tears.

As the tomb is not quiet.

It speaks. It proclaims!

It is a promise of eternal life!

Thank you, gracious and almighty God. Amen.

HYMN |        Alleluia! Alleluia! Hearts to Heaven                HYMN # 243

SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST |                                                Rev. Jeffrey Dodson

The peace of the risen Christ is with you!

And also with you!

You are invited to turn to the people around you

and wave to each other as a sign of graceful greetings this day.

TRANSITION MUSIC FOR TIME FOR CHILDREN |                        NCH # 325 v.1

TIME FOR CHILDREN |        Breakfast with Jesus                Jeanne Williams

GOSPEL READING |        Mark 16:1-8                        Erin Ter Beest

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

And all that had been commanded them they told briefly to those around Peter. And afterward Jesus himself sent out through them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.

SERMON |        Eternal Resurrection                        Rev. Jeffrey Dodson

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE |                                                Rev. Jeffrey Dodson

We pray this day for… [Prayer Requests of the day]

THE JESUS PRAYER |                                         Rev. Jeffrey Dodson

Our Father/Mother/Creator, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.

OFFERING OUR GIFTS AND OUR LIVES |                                        Rev. Jeffrey Dodson

On this day, we remember that Mary Magdalene arrives at the tomb with the intent to anoint the crucified body of Jesus; and astonished, she finds an empty tomb where Jesus once laid.

Now what?

God’s angels and the Risen Christ meet Mary Magdalene in her sorrow, and speak hope into her heart. For the Resurrection narrative reveals that love is alive and moves among us!

The Risen Christ helps us to remember that despair is not the end of our journey. The Risen Christ also speaks of God’s ever-present love, and gives the church resurrection hope.

In that, as an Easter people, we manifest God’s never-ending love in the world by the giving of our time, talents, and financial resources. For it is with Christ’s limitless and restorative love, that we humbly and graciously offer back to God a portion of what God has given us.

OFFERTORY |        Jesus Christ is Risen Today                        arr. Wilbur Held

DOXOLOGY |                                         # 780

        Praise God from whom all blessings flow

        Praise God all creatures here below

        Praise God above the heavenly hosts

        Creator, Christ, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

PRAYER OF DEDICATION |                                                Rev. Jeffrey Dodson

God of love, we offer our gifts of time, spiritual gifts, and financial gifts as a sign of our love for you and the world. We ask for a special blessing on these gifts where you meet us in our suffering, and raise us up, so that all may come to know of your abiding love. We give these gifts as you have given them to us. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.



For Holy Communion this morning,

I invite you to lend Christ your table,

as the woman with the Upper Room,

lent him the Passover table,

and two friends from Emmaus

welcomed to their table

one they thought was a stranger.

Lend Christ your table, your bread, your cup

and your open-to-strangers heart.

One:   Christ is Risen!

All:      Christ is risen indeed!

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.


We come from heart-felt “Hosannas,”

and a long season

of feeling like withered fig trees.

We come from an alabaster jar

abundance of love and hard questions.

We recognize experiences

of betrayal, denial,

and the feeling that everyone we love

has fallen asleep and left us alone,

so we recognize this holy story.

We remember Jesus washed feet

and offered a covenant

of himself broken and poured out

for a small group of followers long ago

and for us in our time,

and was risen on Easter

though, even in the joy of resurrection,

he kept blessing and teaching,

accepting hospitality

and giving us hope to eat.



Host of our salvation and Visitor to our lives, send your transforming power upon this Bread and your freely given love upon this Cup. Risen Christ, live in us that we may live in you. Amen

        Presider places both bread and cup on the table

DISTRIBUTION: Breaking the Bread, Pouring the Cup

One:   The Bread on your table is blessed and broken, a meal of grace

All:     Sharing love, we will never be hungry.

One:   The Cup on your table is blessed and shared,

                   like the overflowing of tears and joy.

All:     Drinking deeply, we will never thirst.

COMMUNION MUSIC        Christ the Lord is Risen Today        arr. Hermann Schroeder


In thanksgiving for this meal of grace and in the holy dispersion of virtual worship, (and the holy cautious re-gathering in familiar pews) we claim the risen Christ’s love found on every table. Let us pray …

O Holy One, we come to you with lilies and tears, with personal Alleluias we whisper that soar like the greatest choir. We claim the resurrection for those we love who are tenderly sheltered in your arms and name the resurrection as your invitation to all the weary, all those who need hope. May our lives become your table in all the world.  Amen

* HYMN |        Jesus Christ Is Risen Today                #240, vs 1-4

Brass Ensemble: Kurt Dietrich, Paul Dietrich, Tim Lyke

BENEDICTION |                                        Rev. Jeffrey Dodson

May God’s abiding love and hope give us new life.

May God’s unmerited grace and mercy keep us hope-filled.

And may God’s restorative justice bring to us all, perfect peace.

For Christ is risen! Praise God! Hallelujah!

POSTLUDE |        The Strife is O’er                        arr. Alfred V. Fedak

Christ is Risen!

Happy Easter!

Prayers: To Give Thanks for What God has Done, Service prayers with Communion for Easter Sunday Year B, was written by the Rev. Dr. Sheila Harvey Guillaume, pastor of Union Congregational United Church of Christ in West Palm Beach. Copyright 2021, Justice and Local Church Ministries, Faith INFO Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved.

Christ is Risen Reading: Obed Juan Vizcaino Najera, Venezuela, Gifts in Open Hands, Maren Tirabassi and Kathy Wonson Eddy, eds., The Pilgrim Press, Cleveland, 2011, p. 87-92. 

Communion Liturgy: Maren C. Tirabassi,, accessed April 1, 2021.